U.S. News released its list of the best places to live and retire in the United States for 2022-2023. The report compiles data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Labor, the FBI and other sources. The 150 biggest metropolitan areas in the country are ranked based on the job market index, value index, quality of life, desirability and migration statistics.

Why Huntsville? It may come as a shock to some to see Huntsville, Alabama, at the top of the list — especially since it passed Boulder, Colorado, which sat at the top of the list for the last two years.

One of the reasons Huntsville made the top of the list is its affordability, coming in at No. 3 for the most affordable cities in the country. As of April, the average cost of a home in Huntsville was $326,000. The city was also ranked high due to its job market. Employers in the city tend to offer higher wages, ranking Huntsville seventh overall in the country in the job market category. The city is also known for its good air quality, according to U.S. News.

Other notable cities: Two Colorado cities sit in the top five, with Colorado Springs at No. 2 and Boulder at No. 4. The Colorado cities are high-ranking largely due to their scenery and high quality of life rankings.

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  • Another surprising city on the list is Green Bay, Wisconsin, which came in at No. 3. U.S. News states that Green Bay has the “perfect mix of big-city amenities complemented with a Midwestern, small-town feel.” The city is affordable, coming in at No. 2 for affordability, and relatively safer than the national average.
  • Salt Lake City is No. 23 on the list, mostly for its recreation — skiing — and outdoor life. Salt Lake is attracting people from around the country because it’s more affordable than most major metropolitan areas, even though the housing costs are still higher than the national average.
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List of the top 30 cities in the U.S.:

  1. Huntsville, Alabama.
  2. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  3. Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  4. Boulder, Colorado.
  5. San Jose, California.
  6. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina.
  7. Fayetteville, Arkansas.
  8. Portland, Maine.
  9. Sarasota, Florida.
  10. San Francisco, California.
  11. Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  12. Naples, Florida.
  13. Austin, Texas.
  14. Des Moines, Iowa.
  15. Boise, Idaho.
  16. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  17. Madison, Wisconsin.
  18. Boston, Massachusetts.
  19. Washington, D.C.
  20. Melbourne, Florida.
  21. Albany, New York.
  22. Portland, Oregon.
  23. Salt Lake City, Utah.
  24. Jacksonville, Florida.
  25. Nashville, Tennessee.
  26. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  27. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
  28. Lincoln, Nebraska.
  29. Omaha, Nebraska.
  30. Charlotte, North Carolina.